Taking your car into a professional for maintenance is just part of owning a car. There’s no way around it.
You may know your mechanic like a family friend, or you could be getting to know them. In either case, there are questions to ask your mechanic to gain the confidence that your auto professional will take the best care of your car.
A little bit of knowledge goes a long way and allows you to make the right decisions for you and your car. So let’s look at a few questions to ask your mechanic that will go a long way.
Questions to Ask Your Mechanic
1. Have you worked on my car’s make and model before?
This one is especially true if you are seeing a new mechanic.
Sometimes mechanic shops only work on certain types of cars. If you have a foreign car or maybe one that is a little older, you should be aware of the mechanic’s experience and abilities with your particular make, model and year.
Efficiency and knowledge in a mechanic will save you time and money.
2. How much should I expect to pay for an estimate?
Having a mechanic do a diagnostic on your vehicle can take some time. Sometimes garages will have a fee, and sometimes it’ll be free. It’s important to know what to expect before having your mechanic do a diagnostic.
If you’re not okay with paying, you always have the option to shop around at other mechanic shops.
3. Can you give me a written estimate?
Having an itemized list of parts and the cost of labor for maintenance will tell you precisely what you’re paying for. Have the mechanic sign the written estimate in case you need to contest a change in billing at a later date.
4. Can you walk me through the details of the repair?
This may seem like you’re questioning the mechanic’s reputability, but it’s one of the smarter questions to ask your mechanic. It’s essential to know the work done your vehicle for several reasons.
You may change mechanics in the future and will want to know what procedures have already been done. Understanding the basics of the repairs will allow you to ask more in-depth questions. Moreover, in the future you’ll be prepared to have follow-up conversations with your mechanic about previous repairs should similar issues arise.
5. How much time should this repair take?
Asking when you can expect to have your car back is a fundamental question. While your mechanic may not have the exact time down to the minutes, they should know if the needed repair should take an afternoon or a few days.
This way, you can plan your schedule, and they also have a schedule to stick to.
6. Will you call me with unexpected changes during the repair?
Asking for the written estimate means you know the amount you’ll be spending on this repair, but sometimes unexpected expenses happen. Ask your mechanic ahead of time to call you with these discoveries ensures that you know exactly what you’re paying.
Because when it comes down to paying, no one likes any surprises at checkout.
7. Can you show me the problem?
You want a mechanic that can explain to you the necessary repairs. This builds your confidence in your mechanic and allows you a deeper understanding of your car’s repairs.
8. What repairs are immediately necessary and which ones can I wait on?
Repairs can be costly. Moreover, cars’ can have multiple problems. To make sure you’re not draining your bank account, have a discussion with your mechanic on expenses you can wait on.
Sometimes a repair is critical, like a coolant leak, and you don’t want to wait on it. Other times, your car may need an air filter replacement, which isn’t an immediate emergency.
So, get your car mechanic’s expertise. After all, that’s why you brought your car to them.
9. What repairs should I expect in the future?
Just like asking which repairs are critical, asking your mechanic what repairs to anticipate can help you make decisions.
If your car needs an expensive repair in the future, you can start budgeting for it now. Knowing that a critical repair is imminent, means you may begin to understand your car better. Listen for sounds and changes in your car’s performance.
If the repair does not reflect the value of your car, you may consider investing in a new, reliable vehicle. Looking to find out an estimated value of your vehicle? Refer to the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles site to find out.
Nobody likes taking their car in to see their mechanic. It’s like a doctor’s appointment. However, knowing the right questions to ask your mechanic and what to expect can make repairs more tolerable.
If you have any questions about your own car’s repairs, give us a call at Northwest Auto Center of Houston.